Women as paid organizers and propagandists for the British Labour Party between the wars
Hannam, J. (2010) Women as paid organizers and propagandists for the British Labour Party between the wars. International Labor and Working-Class History, 77 (1). pp. 69-88. ISSN 0147-5479 Available from: http://eprints.uwe.ac.uk/11443
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Publisher's URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S0147547909990251
This article contributes to recent debates about the complicated ways in which women involved in the interwar British Labour Party negotiated their political identities through an examination of the activities and aims of a neglected group, the paid women organizers. It suggests that although they accepted the importance of women's work within the home, the organizers did not see women's lives as confined by domesticity. Instead, they argued that women in the home had the potential for collective political action. The article looks at the campaign for pit head baths to highlight the attempt by the organizers to develop a politics around issues such as dirt that concerned women in their daily lives. It was difficult to persuade the Labour Party to take these questions seriously, and the organizers experienced constraints as well as opportunities that came from their paid role, but it is argued here that they did carve a career that was woman-focused and sought to give women in the home a voice.